The new warmest jacket ever is animal cruelty-free (and made by a pro-football player)

Mammoth Outerwear

I read subway advertisements all the time and the ones that rattle me most are those that pertain to animal rights. Perhaps you’ve seen the “Why Love One But Eat the Other,” campaign or recall 2013’s #furtrimisatrap. It’s powerful, and gets you really thinking about your life choices. The anti-fur movement seemed to cool in the late 2000s when consumerism was at its peak, but animal rights activism is rising once more thanks to wider acknowledgement of global warming and cool cruelty-free fashion like Stella McCartney. In addition, faux furs have just gotten better and more luxurious. Recently singer Ellie Goulding, in keeping with her vegan values, went sexy and faux for the cover of her new album Delerium. And at the launch of her new fragrance, RiRi, singer Rihanna was met by a team of protesters raging against the superstar’s love of fur. 

Ideal timing for Canadian James Yurichuk to launch his Mammoth Outerwear on Kickstarter. The all-Canadian made line aims to become the premium animal-free winter jacket alternative in a sea of fur-trimmed coats. “I’m not a hardcore vegan or anything. I don’t have a bigger agenda,” says Yurichuk. “I just think killing a wild animal at the top of the food chain for a little bit of fur trim is crazy. Fashion is a weak excuse.”

Yurichuk and Mammoth’s lead designer Sarah Hopgood started the line with coats (two for men, one for women) but a desire to produce close to home in Toronto proved harder than they thought. “One of the biggest challenges was finding quality manufacturers that still made coats.  We had to navigate through a whole underworld of seamstresses, pattern makers and designers to narrow down to the main manufacturer we wanted to work with. They are far and few between these days.”

The secret to Mammoth’s warmth is Primaloft Gold insulation, originally developed for the military personnel who complained about down jackets getting cold when they sweat.  According to Yurichuk, Primaloft Gold retains heat in wet conditions and still delivers the soft feeling of down. “What really sold me with the Primaloft was I heard Quebec hydro workers preferred it in their jackets instead of down. Stationed 20 meters in the air with gusting wind for hours at a time during winter.”

As a professional football player with the Toronto Argonauts Yurichuk is accustomed to playing outdoors in the erratic Canadian climate, but Yurichuk says his coldest moment ever, happened off-field. “We were doing our lifestyle shots for Mammoth last March in Toronto and accidently picked one of the coldest days of the year.  We were down by the Toronto waterfront and it was -32C with the windchill. Our hands felt like they were going to fall off because we were working without gloves. However, we also realized we had a good product because everyone on set was warm.”

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